Saturday 15 September 2018

Little Man, Little Man...

“But that...feeling of inadequacy never really goes away...”
Lorrie Moore, American Writer

Thoughts on inadequacy and a delightful piece of sculpture that has come into my life.

The little sculpture (15 cm square) in the accompanying photographs is entitled “Little Man”. The sculptor is SaraLou Miller (Link), a talented mixed media artist from Prince Edward County. “Little Man” was part of TOUCH, an August exhibit that SaraLou shared with the painter Barbara Högenauer at Picton’s Maison Depoivre Art Gallery (Link). Maison Depoivre is one of my favourite galleries – it consistently offers lively, eclectic exhibits from a wide range of artists.

As soon as I saw “Little Man” at Maison Depoivre, I knew that I wanted to adopt him. There was a resonance with the sculpture. A soul thrumming.

Writing this blog post is helping me understand my reaction.

Feelings of inadequacy have been part of my life since I was a child. And I don’t understand why. My childhood was filled with loving parents and family; I did well in school and enjoyed learning; I took a lively interest in history, politics, writing, and reading. My life was filled with blessings and accomplishments. But...underneath it all...just hovering beyond my grasp...especially at night...came the anxiety attacks, the panic sweats, and the nightmares whose main theme was my not being good enough.

Looking at SaraLou’s “Little Man” took me back to those memories. I know the pose well – curled up, head buried, making myself small, and desperately hoping no one would discover what a fraud I was.

The miracle of my life is that those fears did not overwhelm me in the long run. I don’t understand quite how that happened. Certainly the day my Grandmother Tayler whispered in my ear, “You’re perfect enough just the way you are,” was a turning point. What I do know is that being surrounded by love – from family, friends, and two wondrous husbands – helped turn the tide.

And continues to help turn the tide. As Lorrie Moore says, those feelings never really go away. But each day brings a renewed determination to bask in the love that surrounds me...and to radiate it back into the world.

I hope this isn’t self-pitying. But it is important to give words to the impact “Little Man” has on me. He is a talisman. He is MY talisman. And he grounds me.

Thank you, SaraLou Miller, for your gift.

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